Portion of Ghana's debt to be written off by December -JAK
A substantial portion of Ghana's external debt, estimated at about six billion dollars will be written off when the country reaches the decision point under the HIPC initiative in December this year.
President Kufuor, who announced this at a durbar of chiefs and people of Shama Traditional Area, did not, however, specify the amount to be written off. The President, on the first day of a four-day tour of the Western Region, said the money to be realised from the debt cancellation would be re-invested in viable economic ventures, especially in the rural areas for the benefit of farmers and fishermen.
He said six million dollars has been voted under the President's Special Initiative (PSI) on Agriculture for the production of industrial starch from cassava for export. This, he said, would enable the farmers involved to earn more to improve their standard of living.
President Kufuor said people who benefit from the 700 million cedi Emergency Social Relief Programme (ESRP) should not consider the assistance as gift but as loan that has to be repaid for others to benefit.
President Kufuor said following prudent economic measures by the government, the cedi has stabilised and interest rates have dropped from 50 per cent to 37 per cent and would continue to reduce.
He said the Sekondi-Takoradi water system is to be expanded at a cost of nine million dollars to improve supply to the twin-city.
Nana Kwaku Binnah III, Omanhene of Shama Traditional area, appealed to the government to upgrade the Shama Health Post to a polyclinic and provide a new science laboratory for the Shama Senior Secondary School.